"Every planetary alignment holds an opportunity for growth and expanded awareness, and contains symbolism that can be universally shared and understood. By meditating on current planetary themes, we can tune in to the archetypal energy inherent therein, gaining a deeper understanding of our own personal myth, integrating the planetary energies experientially through personalized ritual."

Welcome Spring!  This Equinox is a sacred holiday that signals the blossoming of spring's return; today the hours of daylight and nightfall are equal, bringing the opportunity to balance the solar (projecting) and lunar (receptive) natures within us, harmonizing our inner and outer realities as well. This is when you can bless the seeds you'll be planting in your garden, performing rites of fertility and abundance for the upcoming season of growth and renewal.

Named for the ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess who presided over fertility, Eostre, this holiday  symbolises balance, and the birth of all nature. The egg was used as a symbol for Ostara, as it  represents the birth of the Goddess as Persephone, returning from the Underworld to join her mother Demeter once again, playing in the fields together as they bring fertility and growth to the land once more. This holiday honors the playful child within, and is a good timne to honor the body and its ability to regenerate itself as well.

We are now in the "First Quarter" phase of the year, when the projects initiated around the Winter Solstice are taking form. This is when new patterns are established into their environment, and action must be taken to make sure the patterns are fully integrated. The soil is prepared, and the planting season will soon be in full bloom!

The astrological charts of the Solstices and Equinoxes have been read by astrologers since ancient times for news of the upcoming season, especially as it pertains to the well-being of nations, their leaders, and the condition of the people. Ingress charts (as they are called) are drawn for the exact moment the Sun enters one of the four cardinal signs: Capricorn, Aries, Cancer and Libra (Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn). Cardinal energy is initiating, and an excellent time for magickal workings, as practitioners of earth spirituality have known for a long, long time.

Spring Equinox Herbal Lore:
Celandine:  Good spirits, joy
Cinquefoil:  Ritual bath; eloquence, protection and purification.
Dandelion:  Divination, wishes, psychic ability.
Dogwood:  4 petals symbolize the 4 sacred directions.
Iris:  Purity, wisdom, faith; baby blessing; symbol of life and resurrection.
Honeysuckle:  Rebirth, renewal, spiritual sight; agile or versatile mind.
Jasmine:  Lunar, for psychic opening; spiritual love; use oil to anoint candles; ritual cup.
Lily:  Srong associations with fertility godesses; white: purity, rebirth.
Rose:  Represents true love and joy; use yellow roses on the altar for Ostara.
Tansy:  Women's mysteries, immortality, health, longevity, love.

These herbs can be utilized in ritual by making an incense, or anointing candles with essential oil. They can be sewn into a charm bag and consecrated (dedicated to a single purpose), and worn or carried when needed.

Ritual Bath: 
Cinquefoil, Jasmine flowers, Honeysuckle and Rose petals.  Place any or all herbs in cheesecloth and tie well; run under tap.  You can also make a strong tea from the herbs, strain and pour into the bath.

Light silver or white candles anointed with jasmine oil to represent the Maiden aspect of the Goddess. Imagine yourself reborn anew, as dewey and fresh as Persephone, flowers blooming wherever she steps. Bathe yourself in the herbs and the springtime energy, clearing away anything that no longer needs to go with you. After your bath, bring your candles with you to the circle, and place them on or around your altar.

The Altar:
Place the altar in the East, the quarter of springtime and the dawn. Decorate your altar and home with an abundance of spring flowers, especially yellow ones: crocuses, daffodils, violets, lilac, lilies, yellow roses, iris.

Use the silver altar candles, and green candles to represent the growing flora. The altar cloth can be yellow, white or spring green. Flower seeds can be placed upon the altar as well, to be charged with magical intent before planting.

You will need three candles: red, pink and orange, and several small pieces of paper to write your ritual intention; flower or herb seeds.

Cast the circle, call in the quarters, and call upon a Maiden Goddess, if you choose, or just imagine your circle infused with the freshness of springtime. Prepare incense.

Sandalwood, rose petals, jasmine flowers, powdered orris root, cinquefoil, tansy

Lilac, sandalwood or rose.

Bring any or all of the above ingredients into your ritual circle and add each ingredient one at a time, while grinding by hand with a mortar and pestle and focusing on the properties of each herb as it is added. Consecrate your incense by dedicating it to the maiden aspect of the triple goddess, and once the incense is prepared, burn some on a charcoal as you focus in on your goal.

The red candle represents the Sun entering Aries, the beginning of spring, and
the element of fire. Write down what new projects you will initiate now, and place the slip of paper under the candle. Light your candle as you say your goal aloud, and mediate in its meaning.

Repeat with the following:

The pink candle represents the Moon/Venus sextile: how can you bring more energy and excitement to your relationships or creative endeavors? Write your intentions down on a small piece of paper and place this slip of paper underneath the candle; anoint the candle with a Venusian oil [see appendices], and focus on your intent as you light your candle.

The orange candle represents the Moon/ Juno trine in fire signs; what changes do you want to give energy to, especially regarding partnerships and relationships, now in the season of sowing seeds? How to spiritualize our relationships more each day?
Create an affirmation to support your intent.
Write down your goals and repeat the process as before.

When you feel the ritual is complete, thank the Maiden Goddess, and burn each paper as you focus once again on the intention of the goal, releasing the energy to the wind and elemental helpers.

Thank the nature spirits, Deities or elementals, and close your circle, allowing the candles to burn all the way down, or instead, burn them for a little while for the next several days, symbolizing the waxing energies.

From "Magical Astrology Guide 2002" -- 2001 Sarolta DeFaltay-Bell.
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